Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest


Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest is in its fifty-second year. The contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school.

What are the prizes?

First place (one winner)
  • Up to $5,000 renewable annual Creative Talent Scholarship in creative writing if winner enrolls at Hollins
  • Free tuition and housing for the university’s Hollinsummer creative writing program
  • $200 cash prize
  • Publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ award-winning student literary magazine
  • Ten copies of Cargoes
Second place (six winners)
  • Up to $1,000 renewable annual Creative Talent Scholarship in creative writing if winner enrolls at Hollins
  • $25 cash prize
  • Publication in Cargoes
  • Two copies of Cargoes

What are the requirements?

  • Students must submit their poem(s) in Microsoft Word, 12pt Times New Roman. [Please note: the contest has ended.]  
  • No more than two poems by any one student may be submitted
  • Please label additional pages with the author’s name, title of poem, and page number
  • Each entry must include the following information:
    • Author’s name
    • Author’s mailing address
    • Author’s phone number and/or email address
    • Year of author’s high school graduation
    • Faculty sponsor’s name and email address
    • Author’s school
    • Address of author’s school
    • Phone number of author’s school

What is the deadline for entries?

October 30, 2015 [Please note: the contest has ended.]

Who chooses the winning poems?

Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

When are winners notified?

Late February

Who was Nancy Thorp?

Nancy Thorp, Hollins class of 1960, was a young poet who showed great promise when she was a student. Following her death in 1962, her family established the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest to encourage the work of young poets.